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Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)

3.5 out of 5 stars 515 customer reviews

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(Feb 26, 2008)
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Unrated Director's Cut
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the age of heroes comes the mightiest warrior of them all, Beowulf. After destroying the overpowering demon Grendel, he incurs the undying wrath of the beast's ruthlessly seductive mother, who will use any means possible to ensure revenge. The ensuing epic battle resonates throughout the ages, immortalizing the name of Beowulf.

Additional Features

The process of creating Beowulf was more interesting than the movie itself--though many of the movie's fans will be disappointed that the "making-of" featurette does not include Angelina Jolie in her skin tight motion-capture suit. We do, however, get to see Ray Winstone (who admits he has a less than heroic physique), live horses bedecked with plastic dots, a "Robo-Grendel," wire props painted fluorescent pink and orange, and a poor production assistant whose job is scooping up horse poop. Other featurettes discuss the monster design (including giving a sea monster a single eye because, apparently, cyclopean creatures have mythological street cred); how excited the filmmakers were to combine Winstone's gruff voice with a preposterously burly bod; and a brief bit discussing the original epic poem, how much director Robert Zemeckis hated it, and the various liberties the screenwriters took with it. But for anyone interested in computer animation, the most interesting extra feature may be the deleted scenes. Because they were cut long before the animation was finished, they show the process at a variety of different stages--at some points the faces don't even move, making Beowulf look like a Thunderbirds-style puppet movie. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • A Hero's Journey: The Making of Beowulf
  • Beasts of Burden
  • The Origins of Beowulf
  • Creating the Ultimate Beowulf
  • The Art of Beowulf
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Easter Eggs: Coffee Break with John Malkovich

Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright, Anthony Hopkins
  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: Anonymous, Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary
  • Producers: Jack Rapke, Jacob Peratrovich, Jacqueline Lopez, Josh McLaglen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (515 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011NVC9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,240 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Written around 700 AD and being of unknown authorship, "Beowulf" may be one of the purest fantasies ever told--it was one of the first to tell the story of a warrior who fought demons and a dragon. In the hands of director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, the story transcends what we might have envisioned when reading the epic poem. This latest film adaptation is a triumph of classic storytelling, giving us a both hero to root for and monsters to be afraid of; it's a story told in the language of entertainment, having the power to capture its audience with compelling characters and breathtaking visuals. It's an honest to goodness fable that tells it like it is, completely free of long-winded setups and complicated details.

Relying on the same motion capture technique he utilized in "The Polar Express," Zemeckis has crafted an entirely computer generated film that has an appropriately surreal look. This is especially true of the characters, which exist in a gray area between the realistic and the fantastic; they don't look phony by any means, but they're not completely authentic, either. I suppose part of this can be blamed on the limits of computer technology, which still isn't able to fool an audience despite major advances. The thing is, I don't think the film should have looked too realistic, simply because it's telling an unrealistic story. "Beowulf" is a purely imaginative piece, and as such, the film needed a purely imaginative look. Zemeckis chose to make the entire thing one big special effect--there are no individual effects that enhance live-action scenes.

Taking place in the sixth century, Ray Winstone voices the title character with the perfect mix of pride, arrogance, and youthful impulsiveness.
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Format: DVD
Beowulf is a great story, it would not have lasted over thousand years if it wasn't. This 2007 all CGI version deviates considerably from the original story's truest and perhaps even its most enduring elements. The villain Grendel is portrayed as if we have the opportunity to sympathize with him. I remember upon his first attack in this film thinking that the Grendel from the epic poem would never have been so bold as to attack while his enemies were not asleep. Never would he come face to face with King Hrothgar on his throne. He is a cowardly and vile monster. I also remember studying Beowulf and thinking that this is the ultimate pagan hero. Courageous even if to a fault, boisterously politicizing himself to the gods by listing off each of his own unearthly tasks, challenging any evil no matter what it may be, even if it looks exactly like a naked Angelina Jolie. Most of all, he was to be a shining example of pride and honesty. It's funny, until now I never realized how I may have idolized Beowulf during my High School readings but just like those young pagan lads a thousand years ago listening to tales of the great warrior around a giant bonfire, I guess in a way I did and still do. The Beowulf we get here is tricked and tormented and his time as king is essentially based on deception. He is flawed in ways that make him less a hero.

There is something to admire in that fearless definition of heroism held up high in the original tale. Something even more endearing about this ultimate clash between good and evil.
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10 Comments 48 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Beowulf is a new version of a classic tale. The animation style really comes to life when seen in Imax 3D. This is one movie worth seeing in the theatre and owning in HD.

There are three groups who will want to see Beowulf no matter what reviewers think: those who loved the Polar Express (same creators, same animation style), those who love mythology and war movies, and those who love Angelina Jolie. And yet the real reason to see this movie should attract a much wider audience: this is a visually stunning "video game" on the movie screen. While any new take on a classic tale will upset purists, this movie is worth suspending disbelief for the entertainment value.

Visual Effects

The animation of the film is very "cartoon" and "video game like." While that may not satisfy those who are looking for entirely realistic CGI effects, it is an artistic form that is very compelling when seen in Imax 3D. Clearly, the technology will improve in future movies. Regardless, the creativity and artistry of this movie should be appreciated for what it is.

There are many 3D elements that leap out at viewers. If they added smells and water spray it would be very similar to some Disney World 3D movies. My only curiousity is how (if at all) they plan on making the 3D experience available to home viewers

The Music

The score is very well put together and complements the movie experience. There is a lot of driving heart pounding composition, almost operatic in nature. And there are also soft pensive songs. In any case, the music is also well appreciated in a theatre, and sets this version apart from previous ones all on its own.
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Topic From this Discussion
differnce from theatrical version
I just watched the Director's Cut, and I didn't see anything at all that was different from the theatrical version. No change in dialogs, no extended or altered scenes... I'm really confused what was changed.
Feb 28, 2008 by J. Friant |  See all 7 posts
3-D ?
yea i saw beowulf in 3-d and it was good. i am also gonna wait it out hopefully a 3-d version will come out shortly.
Feb 24, 2008 by Oscar Portillo |  See all 10 posts
when do preorders ship
It will ship on the release date. Sometimes they ship the day before, but you still won't get it until after the actual release date.
Feb 13, 2008 by The Face of Boe |  See all 4 posts
Wheres The Blu-Ray Version?
First of all, Paramount is the studio behind Beowulf and Universal Pictures is the studio responsible for American Gangster, and they both pretty much supported HD DVD from the beginning (referring to the Paramount 18-month contract with HD DVD). Even though HD DVD is technically dead, this film... Read More
Mar 1, 2008 by Watcher |  See all 4 posts
Equilibrium on HD DVD "OOP"
Its not OOP just yet but its limited availability!
Mar 27, 2008 by J. Smith |  See all 2 posts
Beowulf: My DVD has no Chapters/Scenes/T... Selections Be the first to reply
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